Monday, November 12, 2012

11/12 BC chum, Elwha coho, Victoria sewage, Skagit water, Hood Canal mitigation, BC & US coal, BC oil, Peninsula shellfish, Children's Museum, Kalakala, owl attacks

(PHOTO: CBC News/George Clulow)
Record numbers of chum salmon are returning to urban creeks in Burnaby, B.C., to spawn. Crowds gathered on Saturday at Buckingham Creek — a tiny, shallow waterway that passes under a large parking lot and runs into Deer Lake — to watch the salmon spawn. Naturalists believe a handful of salmon might have reached the creek in previous years, but say this is the biggest run in 80 years.  Record numbers of salmon spawning in urban creeks  Meanwhile:  Bald eagles arriving in record numbers on Harrison River  

A number of salmon are getting a helping hand to two of the larger tributaries of the Elwha River from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Fish Hatchery, where fish are taking refuge from increased sediment loads coursing down the river in the wake of dam removal. Some 300 coho and a handful of chum already have made their way to the tribal hatchery and the state rearing channel — enough to preserve this year’s run. Jeremy Schwartz reports. Tribal hatchery transports first fish of fall to Elwha tributaries  

A strong resurgence of opposition to Greater Victoria's sewage treatment plan could derail the megaproject at a meeting of politicians next week. Two of the 14 directors on the Capital Regional District's sewage committee plan to force a vote that would delay the $783-million plan. Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins and Saanich Coun. Vic Derman say their separate motions would lead the CRD to challenge the federal government's wastewater regulations, which currently deem Greater Victoria a high risk and mandate secondary treatment by 2020. They want Ottawa to lower the CRD's risk rating, potentially making treatment unnecessary until 2040. Rob Shaw reports.  Foes renew battle against sewage megaproject  

Skagit River water rights will again be the focus of a courtroom battle, this time in the state’s highest court. Depending on the court’s ruling, the owners of about 5,700 buildable lots in the Skagit River basin — of which at least 400 already have homes on them — might not be allowed to draw water for residential use. At issue is the 2008 lawsuit advanced by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community against the state Department of Ecology, which claims Ecology abused a provision meant to provide water in exceptional circumstances to more than two dozen major and minor creek basins that feed into the Skagit River. They took their argument to Thurston County Superior Court in 2008, but lost in 2010, and then appealed. The case is now in the state Supreme Court, and oral arguments will be held Tuesday in Olympia.  Kate Martin reports.  Court ruling could decide rural Skagit water use    See also: County commissioners call for mediation in Skagit Valley water fight

Does anybody have an old dock he would like to sell? Does the dock happen to be located anywhere near the Navy's submarine base at Bangor? Under a new mitigation program, the Hood Canal Coordinating Council will use $6.9 million from the Navy to compensate for habitat damage caused by the Navy's $715-million explosives handling wharf, now under construction at Bangor. Besides removing old docks, projects under consideration include the removal of shoreline fill, creosote pilings and bulkheads located in tidal areas. Chris Dunagan reports. Hood Canal restoration sought for $6.9 million in Navy funding

In recent weeks, the town of Tumbler Ridge has been in the spotlight as the destination for temporary foreign workers headed to jobs at a coal project nearby. On Thursday, the federal government announced a review of the program through which those Chinese workers were hired, throwing a wrench into plans to bring up to 200 people to the Murray River project. But while Ottawa may have at least temporarily put the brakes on foreign coal miners in B.C., that action is unlikely to derail a coal boom that involves several proposed new mines and millions of dollars worth of infrastructure to ship the product to market. As in the 1970s and 1980s, when Japanese investors were making big bets on B.C. coal, provincial coal fields are drawing international attention. This time, the biggest factor is China, which since 2009, has shifted from exporting to importing coal and is shopping for new supplies. Wendy Stueck reports. Labour dispute reveals China’s rush to tap B.C. coal boom  

It is being called “unprecedented” but it seems to be rolling out as its authors had intended, perhaps the biggest experiment in environmental democracy the Northwest has ever seen. That would be the “scoping” process to determine what effects the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal north of Bellingham would have on the region’s environment and economy. Floyd McKay reports. Epic Northwest battle: Defining how big a deal coal ports are  

Carl Safina writes: 'In three debates by the presidential candidates and one by the vice-presidential hopefuls, no one could bring themselves to utter the words “climate change....”' Hurricane Sandy Said What Both Presidential Candidates Were Afraid To Say  

Newspaper publisher David Black says he has found markets in China and Japan for processed fuel from a proposed $13-billion oil refinery he is promoting for Northern B.C. The interest expressed by companies during his just-concluded 10-day visit to Asia makes the case, he said, that the two countries would rather purchase processed Canadian fuel than refine raw Alberta bitumen themselves. Ian Bailey reports. Publisher David Black claims support in China, Japan for proposed B.C. refinery  

Port Townsend Bay, Oak Bay, Admiralty Inlet and North Hood Canal have reopened for recreational shellfishing. Levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, or PSP, are now below the recreational closure level for these four areas, the Jefferson County Public Health announced Friday. Other beaches in Jefferson County — and all beaches in Clallam County — remain closed because of marine biotoxin levels or pollution. Kilisut Harbor, including Mystery Bay, remains closed to butter clams only.  Some beaches open for shellfish  

Olympia’s new Hands On Children’s Museum on East Bay is getting its missing ingredient this weekend: loads and loads of children. The $18.5 million museum opens to the public Sunday after opening to members Saturday. There are eight galleries, an art studio, more than 150 exhibits and a developing outdoor gallery space that will rival the interior of the museum in size when it fully opens next year. The new museum is expected to have 212,000 visitors in its first year. Matt Batcheldor reports. New downtown gem: Hands On Children's Museum finally opens  

Steve Rodrigues, the man so passionately determined to save the Kalakala ferryboat that he sacrificed all of his personal resources on it, including his home, no longer owns the historic vessel. At a quietly arranged lien foreclosure sale Thursday, Karl Anderson, the Tacoma businessman who owns the Hylebos Waterway uplands where the boat is moored, took possession of the vessel in exchange for the $4,000 he claimed Rodrigues owed him in back rent. Rob Carson reports.   New owner, uncertain future for Kalakala ferry  

And finally: Barred owls have been swooping down on people in Seattle-area parks...The state Fish and Wildlife Department said the owls are young ones that are territorial about new nesting spots. Owls attacking some visitors in Seattle-area parks

Now, your tug weather--

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